Migraines may or may not be genetic. They are severe headaches with breathlessness, blurred vision, and restricted body movements as supplementary discomforts. Migraine awareness week is a great initiative to educate people about the various aspects of migraine, viz.
- Why migraine happens?
- What causes migraine?
- How to treat migraine?
Migraine pains are classified into two types, namely classical migraines (with aura) or common migraines (without aura). As the name suggests, a common migraine is most usually experienced. There is no particular age group of people affected by migraine; children are also reported to fall victim to it. Today, the increasing stress level in the routine lives of the masses is directly proportional to the cases of migraine being reported to the medical authorities.
1 Causes of Migraine
Unlike other ailments, there are no generic causes for its occurrence. The reasons vary from patient to patient. Some patients suffer migraines after consuming particular food items, whereas some get it post certain physical activities. The pain is caused by a chemical imbalance in the neurological system of the body and the trigger for such malfunction may be of varied nature in different individuals. Some people reported of having migraine owing to family history, while some complain of excessive strain as the main reason. Eating habits are also noted to be a factor leading to migraine, as the body reacts negatively to the intake of certain food nutrients which causes the malfunction. It is essential to take note of the triggers to stay alert and avoid the occurrence of migraine.
2 Symptoms of Migraine
Symptoms of migraine can be differentiated according to the stages that pain sears through. It is essential to note the first symptoms that occur before the pain is felt so that necessary precautions can be taken. The pre-pain stage symptoms are:
- Craving for food
- Feeling depressed
- Feeling of fatigue and low energy levels
- Yawning frequently
- Increased levels of hyperactivity
- Feeling irritated over petty issues
- Stiff joints in the neck and lower back
- In some cases of chronic migraine, the following symptoms are also noted before the pain is felt:
- Experiencing difficulty in speaking clearly
- Tingling sensations in the arms and legs
- Blind spots or flashes of bright light
- Seeing kaleidoscopic visuals on exposure to bright, natural, or artificial light
- Repeated loss of vision for seconds to minutes
As the pain arrives, the next stage is reached where the person experiences severe pain on one side of the head and a high level of uneasiness is experienced. The pain can last from 4 hours to 3 days and the rest period required to recuperate is also considerably longer. To know if it is a migraine pain, people should look out for the following symptoms:
- Sudden feeling of dizziness which may be followed by fainting
- Light and sound becoming intolerable
- Constant feeling of nausea
- Pain is experienced only on one side of the head
- The pain is pulsing, i.e. feeling expansion and contraction at rapid speeds
Once the pain is over, several behavioral changes are observed in patients such as frequent mood changes over the coming days, irritability over petty issues, and high levels of fatigue. The feelings of abstaining oneself from all kinds of making an effort or feeling extremely happy are also the after-effects of migraine.
3 Treatments for Migraine
Discovering solutions for ailments without any generalized causes is a task uphill. No quick fix remedies are available to cure migraine apart from certain pain killers which can also lead to increased pain if the body of the patient reacts otherwise to the medicine.
In cases where a person suffers from a migraine attack in public, it is the duty of the people around to take care of the person and take remedial steps like loosening the shirt buttons (if any) to allow easier intake of fresh air, keeping the body of the patient straight on a flat surface, and tilting the head to the left in order to avoid chances of further menaces. The surrounding people should not panic or be indifferent to the situation as one noble act could save a precious life. Once the person is a bit stable and regains composure, he or she should be escorted to a nearby hospital for proper medical treatment.
Patients suffering from migraine are expected to maintain a headache diary which contains information like the probable act or element which caused the attack. In short, it is a way to keep track of the triggering factors. Once the triggers are known, it is the duty of the patients to share the information with their consulting doctors to devise a coping mechanism, and try to avoid such triggers at all possible costs.
Practicing meditation is a good way to gain composure in case of a migraine attack in lonely hours. Controlled breathing helps by increasing the blood circulation which reduces the pain. Adequate sleep is also important to negate the chances of a possible migraine attack. Appropriate sleeping hours can be discussed with the consulting doctors depending upon the stress levels and the age of the person. Placing a cold cloth over the head is another solution to help make the pain bearable and to regain composure.
Thus, sharing information about the dreaded migraine pain is the main target of the migraine awareness week, and having a look at the information provided here should definitely raise people’s alertness.